asked the Minister of Education what is the average number of school-children in the care of each dentist in the school service in the country and in London, respectively; what is his estimate of a satisfactory number of children per dentist; and what steps he is taking to reach this position.
The figures at present available relate to January, 1948. The aggregate staff of school dentists was then equivalent to 921 full-time officers, a ratio of one dentist to 5,815 children in the country as a whole; the ratio in London was one to 7,300. For a complete service of dental inspection and treatment it is estimated that a ratio of about one dentist to 3,000 children would probably be required. I am in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health about the difficulties at present holding up the development of the service which has been progressing steadily until now.